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  • September 27, 2022 11:28 AM | Martin Miller (Administrator)

    The American Topical Association is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Topical Philatelist award. The ATA’s highest award is presented each year to a person who has made outstanding contributions to philately, especially topical philately. It will be presented at the awards banquet at the Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 12, 2023.

    Individuals, study units and chapters/stamp clubs may nominate a person who they think is qualified. The recipient is chosen by a committee made up of past recipients. Letters of nomination should be sent to the chair of the selection committee, Vera Felts at or mail to 211 Petal Lane, Sequim, WA 98382-3612. Deadline for nominations is December 31, 2022.
  • June 29, 2022 3:47 PM | Martin Miller (Administrator)

    Jack Denys, a Lutheran minister who often counseled grieving families, recommended that people should write their own obituaries, in order to help family members. Here is the one he wrote for himself. 

    By Jack André Denys

    Jack André Denys, president of the American Topical Association (ATA) 2008-2016, and accomplished thematic exhibitor, died on June 26, 2022. He was 79.  

    Jack joined the ATA in 1976. During his eight-year tenure as ATA president, Jack oversaw the hiring of its outstanding staff – executive director Vera Felts and editor Wayne Youngblood - and led the association in visioning, fund-raising, innovations, communications, and its only net membership gain since the 70’s. He created the idea of the “Buck the Trend Fund” to which members have contributed more than $600,000 in 14 years. He promoted the inclusion of “Beyond the Catalog” items in ATA checklists and created the ATA motto “About The Adventure.” For the ATA’s Topical Time, he wrote a regular column Jack’s Journal for eight years, among many other pieces. He was a charter member of the 1949 Society, ATA members who have included the association in their wills. In 2014 Jack received the ATA’s Distinguished Topical Philatelist award, its highest honor. The letter nominating Jack called him “the most influential and positive voice for topical philately in the world today.” In 2020, Jack received the American Philatelic Society’s Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Service Award. He was recognized for National Service with “thanks for the wide-reaching impact of his work.” 

    A member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE), Jack wrote for its journal The Philatelic Exhibitor, receiving the Randy L. Neil Award for the best article in 2011. In 2018 he co-edited the ATA handbook What’s First? and contributed to the ATA’s handbook Topical Adventures.

    Jack was a thematicist (and loved that word!) who collected and exhibited various topics, including Albrecht Dürer, Andrew Wyeth, “Queen Victoria’s Filatelic Family Tree,” “GONE from NYC,” “Same Birthdates Same Deathdates,” “Colonial Williamsburg,” and “Famous People Who Stuttered.” The Bayeux Tapestry, his primary philatelic topic, depicts William the Conqueror’s invasion of England and victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. His exhibit earned 10 consecutive gold awards, which qualified him for the AAPE Diamond Award. The exhibit won the Reserve Grand (2007) and the Grand (2008) at the National Topical Stamp Show.

    Mentored by the queen of thematic philately, Mary Ann Owens, Jack, in turn, mentored other topical collectors and exhibitors.  

    Co-founder of the Albrecht Dürer Study Unit of the ATA, Jack served as president and editor of its Dürer Journal for 20 years. He recently re-activated that organization, again serving as president and editor. He also belonged to the American Philatelic Society (APS) and the Westfield (NJ) Stamp Club.  

    A retired Lutheran pastor, Jack lived in Somerville, NJ, with his wife, Mary Anne. They have three adult sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

    Remembrances of Jack from others:

    From Vera Felts, ATA executive director emerita

    Jack André Denys served as ATA President for eight years--a record that more than doubles the time served by any of our other 18 past presidents. But, more than longevity, it is the quality of his leadership that will be remembered by members of ATA. Jack's background in organizational leadership and his experience as an outstanding pastor and church leader gave him the needed qualities to shepherd our organization into the digital age. His gentle but thorough assistance to me and to the ATA leadership team was always on skillful and on target. Jack's outstanding communication skills were appreciated by all. I believe there were many weeks that Jack, as the fully volunteer president, put in more hours for ATA than did I, the full-time employee. His devotion to our organization was complete, and today's ATA members are still benefiting from his outstanding leadership.

    From Dale Smith, immediate past president

    Jack Denys was a leader for ATA at the right place and time. He
    served 4 terms as president, a total of 8 years of service. During his
    presidency he led the board of directors in making two significant hires in our
    organization: Vera Felts as executive director and Wayne Youngblood,
    editor of Topical Time. Along with Jack these three improved our
    organization dramatically. It was Jack's strong leadership through
    those years that kept ATA financially strong, brought new energy to the board of
    and made sure our organization thrived into the future.
    We owe a debt of gratitude to Jack and his strong leadership. I will
    always remember him fondly.

    From Dawn Hamman, ATA president

    When I joined ATA in 2012, I knew I wanted to collect topicals and make an exhibit. I badly needed a mentor, and Jack generously shared his knowledge and offered encouragement. We enjoyed passing projects back and forth, helping each other make improvements. He always had time for conversation or a stamp project. Jack was a gracious and caring person who could bring a bit of fun to any gathering. His hundreds of stamp buddies will miss him. 

  • March 22, 2022 12:19 PM | Alyn Lunt

    To access the ballot for the 2022 - 2024 Board Elections please click here.

  • February 16, 2022 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    The American Topical Association has selected Martin Kent Miller to serve as the association’s Content Manager and Editor for Topical Time.

    In January, veteran Editor Wayne Youngblood announced his retirement from Topical Time, after 12 years editing the journal. The announcement triggered a search for a new editor and a redefinition of the editor’s overall role. The Content Manager and Editor will serve as Topical Time editor, while also working to publish more digital content both through social media and the association’s web platforms.

    Miller also edits The United States Specialist, the journal of the United States Stamp Society; First Days, the journal of the American First Day Cover Society; The Philatelic Exhibitor, the journal of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors; and The Pennsylvania Postal Historian, the journal of the Pennsylvania Postal History Society. He was former Chief Content Officer of the American Philatelic Society, which included editing its American Philatelist and Philatelic Literature Review.

    Martin is an active topical collector with focused collections covering emus, heraldry, printing & graphic communication, penguins, and the art and life of Albrecht Dürer. He is married to Jennifer Miller, ATA Executive Director, and has supported ATA projects, including the new website, co-editing the ATA handbook Topical Adventures – A Guide to Topical and Thematic Stamp Collecting, and designing the new ATA logo.

    “Martin brings a broad range of talents and is commited to the goals of ATA. For several years he has been an integral part of ATA, and we are delighted he will take on this expanded role,” said ATA president Dawn Hamman.

  • September 13, 2021 7:42 PM | Alyn Lunt

    Thanks to Igor Grigorian and Facebook we have been provided with a highlight video of GASS 2021.

  • August 20, 2021 8:18 PM | Alyn Lunt

    The GASS/NTSS 2021 palmares is now available on our NTSS Award Winners page

  • June 24, 2021 8:15 PM | Alyn Lunt

    On June 9, the Collectors Club of New York honored ATA with a special evening at their Zoom session. Our fine presenters were Tom Broadhead, Eric Knapp, Jean Wang and David Wolfersberger. You can enjoy the video of the program on the CCNY website at

  • May 06, 2021 9:18 PM | Alyn Lunt

    Dale E. Smith, immediate past ATA president, has been selected to receive our association’s highest award, Distinguished Topical Philatelist. This award is presented each year to an individual who has provided outstanding service to philately, and especially topical philately.

    Read more about Dale here

  • March 21, 2021 2:11 PM | Alyn Lunt

    To cast your ballot for the 2021 - 2023 ATA Board Election please click here

  • March 08, 2021 7:40 PM | Alyn Lunt

    PIPEX 2021

    May 7, 8, 9, 2021

    The first APS Grand Championship Series virtual show  


    Over 2500 exhibit pages

    Virtual dealers attending

    Registration is free but required to attend any events during the show

    Then, under Show details:

    Events will occur between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on May 7 and 8 and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on May 9.  All times listed are Pacific Time.

    The website (  will be up 24 hours a day with exhibits to view at your leisure.  Many exhibits are already on the website for viewing.       

    Registration is free but is required to attend any events during the days of the show.  This is needed so the event coordinator can email the contact information to enter the event site.  This is an opportunity to visit and be part of a Grand Championship Series show without leaving home.

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